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Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

DHS offers online tool to help building owners apply for SAFETY Act protections

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The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has developed an online tool to help security professionals for commercial office buildings perform assessments.

The web-based tool streamlines from the application process for building owners applying for safety protections under the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act to become a candidate for Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology (QATT) status.

The tool is based on the Best Practices for Anti-Terrorism Security (BPATS) for commercial office buildings, which were developed by S&T, in partnership with the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS).

“BPATS will be an important part of the SAFETY Act application process,” William Bryan, senior official performing the duties of the under secretary for Science and Technology, said. “We want commercial building owners to feel confident in the steps they need to take in getting the protections they need to secure their facilities.”

Qualifying security professionals will be trained in using the checklist to evaluate various components of building security by SAFETY Act standards, including access control, risk awareness, physical security, IT security, and more. The guide includes 411 best practices and approximately 60 associated common practices.

“With the BPATS, our goal was to develop a comprehensive tool that security professionals could use to assess the anti-terrorism security of commercial office buildings,” Bruce Davidson, director of S&T’s Office of SAFETY Act Implementation (OSAI), said. “The output from their BPATS assessment should enable building leadership to take steps to enhance their building’s security and provide the foundation for a well-structured follow-on SAFETY Act application.”

OSAI and NIBS conducted pilot tests at six commercial buildings located in Washington D.C, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Denver.